Tag Archives: serve

Direction & Protection 24/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

May the strength of The Lord be upon you today! I know I need it. It seems that in the midst of my fasting, every little thing becomes a major deal. Sleeping less is usually not a big deal, but in the middle of fasting, it becomes even harder to continue the commitments we have made to The Lord with a right heart.  Do not let the weakness of the flesh or the enticements of the enemy draw you to the lesser thing, but it is time to go up and go higher to the place where we can touch and be touched by heaven. Supernatural strength be upon us all today!

We have discussed some major life changing fruit that prayer and fasting can produce in our lives.  This power-packed duo has the ability to do so many things that are super big and majorly important, saving a city, healing a land, shifting the heavens…  However, let us not overlook the day to day ways that fasting and prayer aids us in everyday life.  

As we look at a passage from the book of Ezra, let me set up the background for you.  Israel, God’s chosen people, had rebelled and walked away from God. Because of this judgment came upon them through the Babylonians, and they are taken into captivity.  During captivity, we find Daniel faithfully serving the Lord through fasting and prayer out of a heart of repentance and humility.  The grace and mercy come at the set time partnering with the prayers of Daniel and others, and God uses Cyrus to set the people free and allow them to return and build Jerusalem.  

Ezra was of the priestly class and takes it upon himself to lead one of the groups of people back to their homeland.  Nehemiah the cup-bearer to the king also brings people back to the land during the same time period.  Ezra is preparing to lead this large group of Jews on a long journey to their home.  This is where we pick up the story:

Ezra 8:15 Now I gathered them by the river that flows to Ahava, and we camped there three days. And I looked among the people and the priests, and found none of the sons of Levi there. 

As they were preparing to leave, Ezra found that none of the designated spiritual leaders of the people were with them. Ezra alone was the only one who had volunteered to go with the people.  How disheartening this must have been to be the only spiritual leader around that was being voluntarily obedient to press into the freedom and return to the promised land that God had given them. All the other “men of God” had decided to remain in bondage and captivity rather than press through to breakthrough and walk in the freedom and blessing that God had given them.  

After compelling some of his brethren, other priests to come with him, he must realize that the task of traveling with all these people and an abundance of silver and gold to be used as an offering to God and to pay for the work of rebuilding their cities will be more difficult than he thought. Therefore, this is what Ezra does:

Ezra 8:21-23 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.

Ezra is being faithful and obedient in his daily life to do what God has sent him to do. He is walking in wisdom to gather other leaders to care for the people going with him, others that will follow, and those that are already in the land.  It seems that Ezra is walking as a wise leader, full of faith and wisdom, but he realizes that without God’s help, they will be easy prey for their enemies to take advantage of.  So, he humbles himself and asks for help from the Almighty God.  Obviously God is with him.  God set it up for all these things to take place. Clearly, Ezra is declaring the goodness of God and His hand of protection upon them even to the king.  However, Ezra calls the people to humility, fasting and prayer that he might lead them and protect them in a special way.

For us, we can be walking with God completely and totally full of faith and obedience.  We can trust the Lord and be walking fully in his calling, but this does not mean that we do not need Him to be continually with us to strengthen us and keep us from going astray.  Right now, more than ever, you need him right where you are. You need Jesus to invade your home, neighborhood, your workplace, your school, your church, your city and nation. Not matter how spiritually mature you may be or how good things may be going, pride is the only thing that will cause us to walk our daily lives without asking God for supernatural protection and direction.

What is the result of Ezra’s call to humility, prayer, and fasting for direction and protection?

Ezra 8:31 Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. And the hand of our God was upon us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambush along the road.

God directed him and the people the way they should go and protected them along the way.  There may not have been any amazing sign or wonder displayed, but this small group of poor, former slaves and their families, traveling with all their herds, possessions, and an abundance of gold and silver, were protected daily as they traveled more than 900 miles over four months.  

My encouragement for you is to intentionally invite The Lord into your daily life today and every day. As we fast and ask God for the “big”, “spiritual” requests, do not forget your need for Him to strengthen, guide, and protect your daily, routine, coming and going.  Holy Spirit must be infused into every moment of our lives that the glory of God may be constantly and continually flowing out of us for all those who need Him to come and drink!

Jesus, I thank you that you are The One who does mighty signs, wonders, and miracles.  I thank you that you are The Good Shepherd that walks with me in my everyday life. I need your protection and direction in every moment of my life. I invite you to lead me and guide me every single day to walk in Your way. May I never forget to recognize and honor you in every part and every seeming small part of my life!

Practical –

  • Invite Holy Spirit to be with you right now
  • Acknowledge your need for Him to guide and protect you today
  • Ask Him to reveal Himself in a special way within your daily routine activities
  • Recognize and Glorify God in the “small” as well as the “big” blessings today

Be blessed with the ability to know and recognize with increasing perception the amazing blessings God is working on your behalf in your daily life! As this happens, may you glorify Him and be propelled to new levels with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

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Deeply Devoted 18/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

As we continue to press in toward the halfway point, we must choose to remember that Jesus is worth all that we have to give and so much more.  Whatever you have chosen to fast, it is a pleasing offering to Him.  We do it because we love Him and want to give Him even more worship in our very bodies.  May you be reminded of Jesus’ worth. He is worth giving up our very lives that He may be exalted and glorified above every idol in the land.

Today, I want to challenge you and “spur you on toward love and even greater works.”  Whatever level of devotion to The Lord you find yourself at this moment, Jesus deserves so much more.  Too many times, we may look at the people around us and gauge our level spiritually.  We are doing pretty well compared to Joe Shmoe over there.  We have been praying, fasting and seeking The Lord in a special way for almost 3 weeks now.  We must be doing pretty well.

Personally, this is one of the areas that I have to constantly war against, spiritual pride and judgment.  In order that we do not think too highly of ourselves, remember Jesus’ story of the tax collector and the Pharisee.  The Pharisee came boasting at all of his accomplishments and what he was doing for God, while the tax collector cried out for God’s mercy. Jesus says this about the tax collector:

Luke 18:13 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” 

Let us never forget our place in The Kingdom.  All of us must come to the feet of The cross; then we are “raised up together to be seated in heavenly places with Him.”  He is worthy of more than I could ever give to Him.  Our bodies, efforts, hearts and lives are poor in comparison to what He is worth, however, I gladly give all that I have.  

We must never compare ourselves to other people and gain some sort of feeling of spiritual superiority.  We are humble creatures in need of Jesus.  We should always have more that we desire to give.  For God’s pleasure, I was designed to worship.  May He forever receive even more worship from our lives.  

In Luke 2, we find the story of a lady names Anna:

Luke 2:36-38 A prophetess named Anna was also in the temple court that day. She was from the Jewish tribe of Asher and the daughter of Phanuel.  Anna was an aged widow who had been married only seven years before her husband passed away. After he died she chose to worship God in the temple continually. For the past eighty-four years she had been serving God with night-and-day prayer and fasting.

After being married for only 7 years, her husband died. She did not live in regret, grief, or anger at God.  She gave deep devotion to The Lord and served night and day in the temple.  She was seeking The Lord out of a pure humble heart for more than 84 years. 

What was her reward for all this? She got to see Jesus!!!

Lord, let that be my reward.  You are worth it to me!!!

You may be doing more than some, but there is always a deeper level of devotion to go to.  You can never make God do anything, but you must desire to see the deep secret places of God.  Imagine the depths of the Lord that few have been able to reach because they cannot go the distance or give up the junk that is in the way.  May this be the cry of your heart, “I will give up the junk in deep devotion to Jesus so that I may gain access to the deepest places with Him!”  

Jesus, I want to see Your face.  I desire to hear Your voice.  I long for new revelations of Your love.  You are the source from which all things flow.  If I have to give up everything to see You, You are worth it! May this ever be the longing of my heart. 

Practical – 

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal and remove any spiritual pride
  • Ask for revelation of Jesus’ worth
  • Commit to a deeper level of devotion
  • Obey whatever Holy Spirit speaks

Be blessed with new revelations of Jesus’ worth and the desire and ability to advance to deeper levels of devotion with Him.  May you access the deepest place with Him that few ever find!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

 

 

Greater Than Jesus?

Daily Encouragement Dec 5 –

Are you greater than I am? Are you truly following Me? Are you walking as I walked? 

I was sent into the world to bear witness of The Father, The Truth. I never prayed to be taken out of the world or moved somewhere else. This world is hard and fear, son, darkness, and death are around every corner. But do not fear! I am with you! 

I never prayed for Myself or My own to be taken out of the horrible unpleasant situations we were in. Where I was, was where I was sent! That is where I was sent to serve. 

When you pray to be taken out of the darkness instead of shining My light where you are, you are saying you are more important and greater than I Myself did. Pray for strength to shine brightly and bear witness of the Truth for I am always with you no matter where you are!!! I love you My child!!!

John 17:15-19  I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but that You keep them and protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth [set them apart for Your purposes, make them holy]; Your word is truth. 18 Just as You commissioned and sent Me into the world, I also have commissioned and sent them (believers) into the world. 19 For their sake [e]I sanctify Myself [to do Your will], so that they also may be sanctified [set apart, dedicated, made holy] in [Your] truth.

Everything You Need…

Daily Encouragement – 

I love you My child, and I am overwhelmed and overjoyed by how you want to please Me and My heart. I love how you choose to love Me as you serve and obey. 

Even now, I am opening the heavens and sending forth the rain of My blessings. You have been crying out for answers, revelation, movement, and My Spirit. I have not stopped sending all these things and more. 

Even though you may not recognize and receive it as this moment, you have everything you need right now to take the next step. 

Step out and watch the blessings of heaven back up your faith!!!

I will not let you stumble and fall, but will carry you until you are ready to stand, walk, and run into My presence. 

You can do it. You have it in you. Release the Spirit I have given and watch as I overflow you with even more than you have asked for. 
I love you My child.

Ephesians 1:3-7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 
having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 
to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. 
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Chosen Vessel

Daily Encouragement – 
I love you and have great plans laid out before you. These will come forth even as you move into Me. 

I am bringing forth the fires of revival. Old wells and new springs will burst forth with cleansing, refreshing, and washing of hearts. 

Revival of the heart and returning to me, the One and Only Love, is the center of what will take place. 

Love Me, follow Me, obey Me, and see My Kingdom go forth. This will happen even as you follow Me and walk with me to the ends of the earth. The very nations are Your inheritance to revive, disciple, and send out. 

It is not about you. I am looking for willing vessels to love and serve me. Through these vessels, I will transform this world and bring forth My Kingdom like never before. 

You are My chosen vessel!!!
Matthew 28:18-20

Being a Leader/Disciple

Servant leadership

In the last post, Simple Discipleship, I tried to bring you up to speed on where we are at the moment.  I also encouraged you to study several key verses and see what God was saying through them.

In the post, I have included the main points of my notes and the link for the live teaching I did at Living Water Church.  I would like to invite you to comment with your observations and what God was saying to you while studying this teaching.

Before we get started with the discussion, here is the topic for next week:

Intimacy/Love of God

Scriptures for Study: John 15:1-17, 1 Cor 13:1-13, Eph 3:16-21, Deut 7:6-9 

 

This is the first discussion in the Simple Discipleship Series.

Here is the Link: Being a Leader/Disciple

Here are my Notes: Simple Discipleship Week 1

 

Since I have included my full notes, I will try to make this more of a coherent summary.

As we study what a disciple and leader are from scripture, we need to understand the definition of each.

disicpleship

What is a Disciple? .

Are you a Disciple?

What is a Leader? 

Who are you leading?  What are you leading them to?

A leader is to be more of a father that walks with you through the day to day struggles of life than an instructor.  Anyone can tell you what you should be doing, but a father will take you hand and work through the hard times with you to make sure you come out the other side.

1 Corinthians 4:15-16 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me. 

1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. 

It is the job of a father and leader to encourage, comfort, and challenge the people following them to walk more in line with God.  

Every single one of us is created to be a good disciple and a good leader.  How are you doing?  You will be discipled by something and you will lead others into something. What are you being discipled by?  Where are you leading others?

From the scriptures we studied, we can see a few characteristics of good disciples and leaders.

We must be do everything out of love!!! Jesus even loved Judas who he knew would betray him.

We must have Humility!!!  Jesus took the lowest job and did it well even when no one else wanted to do it.

 

We must Serve others!!!  We do not get to choose who we serve or how we serve them.  We must humble ourselves and honor all those we are leading.

We must be the Example and Pioneer!!!  Do as I do.  Lead others by doing it first not just talking about it.  God blesses us when we act, not just when we know or say the right things.

 

A Good Leader is a Good Follower!!!  We must follow Jesus first and foremost and have a close personal relationship with Him.  We must look like Him, smell like Him, walk like Him, and talk like Him so that we can lead others in the right way. And so they never go astray.

We must give God the Glory!!!  Everything we do is through His power and authority so he gets the glory and honor that He rightfully deserves.  We may get some honor and blessing for being obedient, but God gets the ultimate glory and honor for making it happen.

We are Influencers of Heaven!!!  Our actions influence heaven when we are walking in line with Jesus.  Heaven has influenced us and transformed us into sons and daughters.  Because of this, we have the influence of heaven on this world.

We must be Selfless!!!  We deny ourselves legitimate (and illegitimate) pleasures of this world so that we can be truly free and filled with the Presence of God!!!

 

 

We must know True Value!!!  First, we have to know the true value that God has for us, and then we have to know the value He places on the souls of all mankind.

 

1 Timothy 4:8 godliness is profitable for all things

We must be Faithful and Steadfast!!!  The only time for us to test our allegiance is right now.  Will you stand for Jesus when no on else does?

We must Know God!!!  This is the key to being a disciple and leader. Seek to know God in a deeper way!!!

We must Be Strong!!!  When we know God, He makes us strong

We must be Adventurers!!  When we know God in a deep way, we have what we need to do great things, and He can trust us to be obedient in doing great things.

We must be Lead Others into Knowing God More!!!  Part of us knowing God is us sharing that knowledge and relationship with others.  Part of us growing in God us teaching others what we are learning.

We must Understand our Authority!!! God has given all authority to Jesus, and Jesus has given it to us.  Jesus’ authority is ours if we will only walk in it.

We must Go!!!  God calls His followers to action and doing.  What are you doing for Him right now?

We must be Disciple Makers!!! We are called to make disciples of nations.  This comes by us raising up others who can reproduce the discipleship we have instilled within them.

We must be Carriers of Christ!!!  Jesus goes with us, and His power, His Presence, and His authority works in us and through us.

We must be Lovers of Jesus!!!  We must love Him first and foremost in all things, and this love should eclipse all other loves

We must be Willing to Sacrifice!!!  We must lay down our junk and take up what God has for us.  We must lay down our very lives.

We must be Finishers!!! Being a disciple and being a leader are not easy things, but we do not start what we cannot finish.

We must be Spicy and Full of Flavor!!!  People recognized Jesus because of what He said and did and people should recognize us because we are just like Him.

What are we worth if we no longer look like Jesus???

What is a Disciple? A disciple is someone who leaves everything behind and follows Jesus out of a heart of love.

What is a Leader? A good leader is a disciple, who is leading people to do the same thing that He is daily doing.

 

 

 

Our position in the Kingdom is not made up of what we have, it is determined by what we are willing to give up out of love and obedience to our Father.

washing feet

What does this study mean if we do not make it personal???  I want you to meditate on these question:

Who am I leading?

Who is leading me?

Who can I disciple?

Who do I want to be discipled by?

Is it worth it to you to be a disciple and leader? 

Ask Holy Spirit to bring revelation to you how you can follow Him more closely.  Anything that you need to confess and leave behind, do it now and never look back!!!

Remember that we are all walking through this together.  May the Lord Bless you and Keep you!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Stand Fast in Freedom

What a year 2013 was!!! In short it was (Fire by Night and new friends, the Proposal, long months of waiting, Encounter God’s Presence youth camp, confirmation of our calling, marriage, honeymoon in Mexico, beginning of Gibson’s Go Global, flying to NYC on Sept 11, Circuit Riders in Norway, YWAM and Fire Starters in Scotland, Christmas and New Year in Newcastle) not that short. I know for many of us, this was a busy year and we should be able to look back and see how we have changed. If there has been no change between this year and last year, it is seriously time to examine if we are walking in God’s will. I am not talking about a physical location, although in our case it obviously was. I am talking about how you have changed in your relationship with The Lord. I encourage you to review your year with Holy Spirit and see what you find out.

This morning, God has given me an encouragement that I want to pass on to you:
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
I can see as I look back over my life, even in the last year, how much that God has brought me into greater and greater freedom. He has strengthened us and empowered us to walk in this new freedom. Even when we are tempted to fall back into old things, we have the strength to stand fast!!! We must stand in the freedom that Christ has bought with so great a price and not go back to having bent and broken backs under the weight and oppression of sin that the enemy deceives us into thinking is better somehow. Do not be entangled again, but walk in the glorious freedom that has been given to us!!!

What kind of freedom is this? Unrestrained selfish freedom? Of course not!!! We know that is not freedom but only bondage to ourselves. A few verses later, we see the freedom that is called for:
Galatians 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
This is not a selfish fleshly freedom, but a freedom in Holy Spirit that encourages us to love others in greater and greater ways. We like to explain the freedom of The Lord as we can say, do, watch, listen to whatever we want because we are free in Christ. Through this verse, we see that our freedom is not to be one that satisfies our flesh, but we are spiritually free to love and serve others with our actions. It is such a tragedy in my mind when Christians talk down the standards of other Christians or try to get them to compromise their convictions. There was one instance I know of that everyone was watching a movie with some coarse language. They knew that there was a girl who did not watch or listen to anything with language as much as she could control. Knowing this, the girls apologized to her, but were unwilling to turn off the movie. This was neither loving or serving this girl or the standards Holy Spirit had set up for her. Was this godly freedom? I think not!!! This was the selfish freedom that leads into bondage but no one saw the deception of the enemy.

I am so glad for those who call us to higher standards with their freedom of loving and serving. One quick story, while in YWAM my leader Sage was constantly challenging me in a healthy way. The week before we went to Outreach in Cambodia, we had a team fast. Getting through that was okay, but then he tells me that he is going to do a Daniel fast for the first 40 days of the trip. My thought is “Good luck pal!!!” Then, thinking of all that we wanted God to accomplish and why we were really there, I decided that I would join him. He did not pressure me or even ask me to join him. I was just encouraged to walk with Him in freedom as we loved and served each other. You know I look back now and do not regret one moment of that fast. Yes, it was extremely hard, but I believe that God is worth it!!!

I encourage you as this New Year begins 2014, stand fast in the freedom God has given you and walk in it in such a way that the people around you are affected by the freedom, love, and service you have for them. I pray that those around you who are the closest and those who barely know you will be called to the deeper and greater things of The Lord because of the consecrated life of freedom you are walking in!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!